The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Towards a Global Legal Order on Indigenous Rights?
THEORIZING THE GLOBAL LEGAL ORDER, A. Halpin & V. Roeben, eds., Hart Publishing, 2009
Posted: 7 May 2009
Date Written: May 7, 2009
The adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ('DRIP') by the UN General Assembly in September 2007 was a momentous occasion. Indigenous representatives and scholars have consistently claimed the DRIP on behalf of the international legal project (and participating States have been mindful of these claims). This essay examines the status of the DRIP in international law. It assesses radical claims that its provisions have contributed to the emergence (or consolidation) of customary international law concerning the rights of indigenous peoples. It also considers the implications of the DRIP's 'softness' from a normative perspective and at the level of adjudication. While this essay recognizes the DRIP's immense political value as an authoritative guide to the formulation of national legislation and policies on indigenous issues it questions the extent to which international law has (or could have) a direct role in relation to securing recognition and rights for indigenous peoples within States.
Keywords: UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, international law, customary international law
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation